Students caught cheating in order to get accepted into college


Yale University found to be involved in a college admissions scam that is said to have been happening since 2011. Charges against college coaches, celebrities, and parents have been filed in order to stop the process of cheating the college entrance system.

Macee Trottner, Editor

On Tuesday March 5, 2019 fifty people were charged with fraud and bribery in connection with a college admissions scam that has been dated back to 2011. The people being charged include NCAA Division 1 coaches, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy parents. This scam is the largest college admissions case that the Department of Justice has ever handled.

In 2011 when the scam began, parents were said to have paid a combined $25 million to an admissions consultant in order to help their children cheat on college entrance exams. In order to help students cheat on the exams, their parents would pay to have the students take ACT or SAT tests in rooms alone with a proctor who would either take the test for them or go back and change the answers after the student was done testing.

The FBI in the Boston field got involved in the case and began Operation Varsity Blues in May 2018. They stumbled across a lead while working on an entirely different case.

“Make no mistake, this is not a case when parents were acting in the best interest of their children,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston field office. “This is a case in which they flaunted their wealth and set their children up with the best education money could buy – literally. Their actions were, without a doubt, insidious, selfish and shameful.”

The universities involved in the scam include Georgetown University, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles, University of San Diego, University of Southern California, University of Texas, Wake Forest and Yale. None of these schools are being accused of any wrongdoing from accepting the money that was bribed except for one admissions officer at USC.

These parents and schools were conspiring with William Rick Singer who created fake charities in which the money would be funneled through. People spent anywhere from $100,000 to $6.5 million for Singer to get in contact with Universities and cheat on college entrance exams.

“We’re not talking about donating a building so that a school is more likely to take your son or daughter,” Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts said. “We’re talking about deception and fraud.”

The FBI gave insight that the case is still being thoroughly investigated and additional charges could be filed. No students were reported to be criminally charged, according to Bonavolonta, but officials are still considering it to be option.

“Today’s arrests should be a warning to others: You can’t pay to play, you can’t lie and cheat to get ahead because you will get caught,” Bonavolonta said. “The investigation continues and we will continue to find and stop those who aren’t playing by the rules.”